Trends Reshaping The Legal Industry And Their Benefits


Trends Reshaping The Legal Industry

  • Globalization

Domestic law firms are expanding across borders, collaborating with foreign counsel and forming intercontinental mergers, erasing traditional boundaries on the geographic scope of law practice. Although globalization is not new, it is gaining momentum due to the growth of the Internet, the automation of legal processes, developments in data security and emerging technology tools. as law firms continue to expand their footprint worldwide, globalization will continue to reshape the landscape of the legal industry in the coming years.

  • Alternative Legal Service Providers

Lawyers no longer have a monopoly on the law. The legal marketplace is changing and clients can seek legal assistance from a growing number of non-lawyer professionals including paralegal technicians, legal document preparers, legal self help sites, virtual assistance and offshore legal vendors.

  • Virtual Law Firms

Powerful mobile devices, software as-a-service, and secure, web-based technology allow legal professionals to work from virtually anywhere. As a result, more legal professionals are working remotely from home or a virtual law office. Virtual law office provide an alternative method of practicing law that permit flexible work hours and foster a better work/life balance for legal professionals.

  • Legal Process Outsourcing

In recent years, the legal industry has experienced a global paradigm shift in the delivery model for legal services. This new model, known as legal process outsourcing (LPO), transfers the work of attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals to external vendors located domestically and overseas. Legal outsourcing, both onshore and offshore, is transforming law practice as law firms and corporate legal departments seek to minimize costs, increase flexibility and expand their in-house capabilities.

Benefits of New Legal Trends

  • Cost Savings

Organizations can reduce their cost structures through labor arbitrage – the wage differential between in-house legal personnel and outside vendors – to reap tremendous cost benefits to both lawyer and client.

  • Access To External Talent

Outsourcing legal work to external vendors allows organizations to access high level talent and niche expertise that does not exist within the firm. For example, coding and document review. Access to external talent is particularly useful for small boutique firms to fill in gaps in internal competencies.

  • Reduced Turnaround Time

The use of external personnel can explain internal bandwidth to reduce turnaround time for pressing legal projects. The use of a combination of onshore and offshore teams can also allow organizations to complete a project in a shorter time frame.

  • Flexibility

Employing a combination of in-house and external talent allows law firms and organizations to tailor their capabilities in response to workload and client demands. Workflow challenges are particularly prevalent for small and mid-size firms. These firms may find it more difficult to spread variability due to a smaller number of attorneys, support staff and clients.

Sources:

http://legalcareers.about.com/od/careertrends/tp/10-Trends-Reshaping-The-Legal-Industry.htm

http://abovethelaw.com/2015/12/4-legaltech-trends-to-watch-for-in-2016/

https://bol.bna.com/top-legal-trends-in-2015-predictions-for-2016/

Tips For New Lawyers

There are so many factors that contribute to successful lawyers. Some are more subtle and others are more straightforward. You can be sure, however, that being an impressive lawyer in the first weeks and months of your career has little to do with the knowledge and abilities that you gained in law school.

Instead, the impressions you make on your colleagues will center on the intangibles—your ability to assimilate and integrate into your office, your understanding of your role as a new lawyer, and your ability to learn quickly.

Here are three easy ways to demonstrate that you’re positioned to become a constructive, productive, and successful member of your legal practice from day one.

1. Don’t show up empty handed.

As a new lawyer, you never want to go into a meeting or another attorney’s office without a legal pad and a pen in hand. In fact, you should probably not leave your office without paper and a pen. You always want to be in a position to take down an assignment when the opportunity arises, and impromptu conferences that result in assignments are a regular occurrence.

2. Offer support.

Above all, your role as a new lawyer is to act in a supportive role for the more senior attorneys you’re working with.  From day one, you can demonstrate your willingness to contribute meaningfully by being as supportive and helpful as possible. Show that you will do whatever it takes—stay late, come in early, run down the street to the courthouse, etc.—in order to help your colleagues get their work done quickly, efficiently, and correctly.

3. Adopt this mantra.

‘No project is beneath me. Repeat: No project is beneath me.’

Entrepreneurs are responsible for learning every aspect of their business, from payroll to website development to sales and marketing. Knowing your business inside and out is the best way to retain control, manage operations, and run things successfully.

For lawyers, the exercise should be no different. Welcome any assignment that’s given to you, no matter how simple. Regard every assignment as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to understand more about your legal practice. If you tackle each and every project you’re given with energy and enthusiasm, in no time you’ll be assigned to more complicated projects and will be trusted with more responsibility.

Click here for more tips for new lawyers.

What Is Public Interest Law?

According to an article published by Yale Law School, “Public Interest Law is the use of law by nonprofit organizations, law firms, and government agencies to provide legal representation to people, groups, or interests that are historically underrepresented in the legal system.”

If you went to law school because you wanted to “help people” when you graduated, there’s a good chance that public interest law is the right career choice for you. Public Interest lawyers advocate for those who most need advocates, act as a voice for those who have none, and work hard to make the world a better place.

Public interest work can feel like a personal obligation for many people because of a general desire to serve and help others.  Many students come to law school with the sole purpose of wanting to help those in need and promote fairness and justice. Because of the passion and meaningfulness behind pursuing this type of career, most public interest attorneys really love the work they do.

Public interest attorneys also assume much more responsibility at the beginning of their careers. Large law firm associates may have to wait until they are mid-level or senior associates before they have much direct client contact, courtroom or pretrial experience – in public interest, you often gain these experiences immediately.

The benefits to pursuing a career in public interest are numerous and fulfilling.  Not only will you gain tremendous hands on experience that can lead to professional success, but also make a visible and lasting difference in the communities you serve, which is the ultimate reward.

Some examples in Public Interest Law include but are not limited to:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Children/Youth Advocacy
  • Civil Rights/Liberties
  • Criminal Defense/Prosecution
  • Death Penalty
  • Disability Rights/Advocacy
  • Domestic Violence
  • Elder Advocacy
  • Environmental Issues
  • Gay/Lesbian Rights
  • Labor Law
  • Government
  • Health Care
  • Housing Law
  • Immigrant/Minority Populations
  • International Human Rights
  • Marriage/Family
  • Prisoners’ Rights
  • Public Benefits
  • Rape/Sexual Assault
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Social Justice
  • Street/Poverty/Homeless Law
  • Women’s Rights

Click here for a more extensive list of public interest areas.

Tips For Lawyers: How To Relieve Stress

stress-management-technique

Feeling behind at work? Are you overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Lawyers suffer nearly four times the depression rates of other professions, and stress and anxiety within the legal profession are well documented. Professional burnout is on the rise and while there are no quick fixes for the depression epidemic afflicting lawyers, there is some relief to be found through the practice of mindfulness.

Set your intention the night before

This is especially helpful for those of us who have trouble falling asleep due to our racing minds. Before you go to sleep, set your intention for something that you want to accomplish in the morning. Having reminders set up for yourself in the morning are also helpful. For example, if your intention for the morning is to start your day with 5 minutes of meditation, maybe it would be helpful to leave yourself a sticky note on your bathroom mirror so that the rush and chaos of the morning doesn’t distract you from your original intention.

Start with your priorities – not someone else’s

Do you spend your morning hours trapped in your Inbox? When you’re responding to emails, you’re allowing other people to set priorities for you. Carve out no-email time in the morning when you’re most productive to do work that requires focus.

The Power of having a NOT To Do List

Create a ‘Not To Do List’ and see if it’s bigger than your ‘To Do List’. This follows right along with setting your priorities. Work can pile up, it happens to all of us, and when this happens, it is easy to get caught in the overwhelming urge to complete the work and meet the deadline. However, that often also means that we end up spending our days doing more work than is expected of us. The act of creating a not to do list helps to highlight a lot of the work that is meant to be delegated or outsourced to colleagues.

Minimize distractions

Things that pop up on our desktop or makes noise pulls us away from what we’re focusing on. Consider turning off auto-notifications on your computer as well as your phone.

One attorney shared that she was constantly getting distracted by staff needing her attention. In order to reduce interruption to her work flow, she put a timer on her office door. When she needed a block of time to work, she would set the timer. This let whoever visited her office to see that this was her “no distraction” time and also knew exactly what time they should come back.

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